In good form, Kayda has an "About Us" page but I'll admit, it's fairly scripted. Time to get real! Here's a peek into my busy but beautiful life. I'm going to be very honest about some of the challenges I've faced as a young(ish) solopreneur, and I certainly welcome your comments at the end!
This is me. I'm not very photogenic (said every woman who has ever lived), but I work full time as director of marketing & PR for an apparel designer/manufacturer. Due to that, sometimes I model their new arrivals as part of my content strategy. Maybe you're asking yourself, "What?" because you thought I was lucky enough to run Kayda full time! That's not the case. Last I checked, Boston was the fourth most expensive city to reside in the United States! So, I work as many gigs as needed to afford my apartment and cereal and macaroni & cheese. I have no complaints about my full time job, other than I wish I had more creative energy left for my passion projects AKA side hustles. At work, I get to conceptualize marketing initiatives and put them into action, then derive insights and learn how to do better. There's constant opportunity to learn more about digital marketing and brand strategy, so I apply what I soak up there to my other endeavors (Kayda & Kaylie Abela Art).
Modeling is pretty awkward for me, but I do it anyway. I face some jealousy over the young women who can make a living off sharing their outfits on their blogs and Instagram. Doesn't that sound like the life? Don't get me wrong; I'm acutely aware of the work involved to create consistently great content. After all, I do it for three businesses! I know all about snapping forty photos for one winner, the process of Photoshopping, composing a strong message, scheduling for the right audience at the right time, attaching links, captions, hashtags, making stories, writing posts... it is tedious and time consuming. I give props to those ladies, but I'd also like to steal their jobs!
When I began to plan strategy for Kayda in the winter of 2017, I knew social marketing would be our biggest driver and that lifestyle photos would be the key to our success. I reached out to some aspiring models in Boston and planned to take photoshoots about once a month. I also hoped to model a bit myself, but no luck with that yet. I was right; Instagram sends a huge percentage of our website's traffic and our audience responds very well to our merchandise styled on women they can relate to. We had almost 3k followers on Instagram before the website even opened to the public, and now we're days away from 10k, which we can't wait for so you can all swipe up to shop in our stories! The photoshoot part of my plan has not happened as anticipated and it's 100% my fault. I simply have a difficult time motivating myself to accomplish things during the frigid winter months. People have asked me why I live in this climate if I "hate it so much," and I think it's because the summer in New England is so wonderful, it partly makes up for the misery preceding it. We all kind of feel like we deserve it when the pleasant weather arrives!
I had other goals for the success of Kayda like a new blog post every two weeks from contributors, working with influencers*, refreshing the landing page once a week, wearing the merchandise in my personal life so I could tag my photos, using some direct mail marketing, and other things. I consider this list partly accomplished and partly lapsed. We're all human. If you're wondering if my social life has interfered at all with Kayda's productivity... Nah, not really! I'm kind of an introvert. I'm not shy, I just do my best thinking in solitude. Also, not everyone can relate to this but being creative is tiring. And I have to be creative all day, every day. I wish there were another story or better excuse, but that's all I have!
Super honest moment: Guys, it's expensive to run this thing. So thank you for your support, those of you who have shopped with us and to the handful who have returned to do so more than once, we know who you are and we really appreciate you. We pay for all of our merchandise up front, and it's an investment since we value working with women-lead designers and handmade goods. These designers need to look out for their own businesses too, so we abide by their order minimums. Aside from that, we pay for our website builder, domain name, Google suite, several forms of paid advertising, our shipping service subscription, shipping the items to you (which is often more expensive than we care to charge you), etc. You get it, right? Sigh-- but I'm not complaining. It's all fun!
I think that's a large enough dose of honesty for today! Hopefully, I haven't scared you off! What are your thoughts? What kind of merchandise would you like to see added to the site? Do you have any marketing ideas for us? Leave a comment below!
P.S. Funky side note: Is anyone wondering what all the stars are about? Are they meaningful to me? Sure, in just about any symbolic way you want to see it... cosmic connections, brilliance, fame and limelight... but the purest of reasons is: I just happen to like them! ⭐
*We are accepting partner proposals from USA-based bloggers with a following of 10K or more and a proven audience. For more info, visit our FAQ. Interested candidates can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.